Week 3 of the Lunch Box Challenge – what to pack? (Plus a giveaway from MOMables!)

are you in?

UPDATE: The winners of the MOMables subscriptions have been chosen. Check the latest Lunch Box Challenge post to see who won!

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, and three weeks into my Lunch Box Challenge I’m happy to report that I seem to have gotten over the “getting used to it” hurdle. As long as I stick to our routine, packing a row of lunches has become almost as habitual as brushing my teeth.

So habitual, in fact, that it’s gotten a little…boring. I purposely made the first few weeks of my Challenge all about establishing, fine-tuning and simplifying lunch-packing routines so that I wouldn’t get overwhelmed by details too early on. But after making dozens of peanut butter sandwiches and turkey sandwiches, and slicing up dozens of apples and chunks of cheese, I’m ready to branch out a little.

But not TOO much. As much as I admire moms who create truly artistic lunches, creating small culinary masterpieces is not something I see myself doing every day. As somebody with a small kitchen and an easily-distracted nature, one of my personal “keep it simple” rules is that I limit the number of moving parts and tools needed to pack lunches. Still, I figure jazzing up the daily lunch a little will not only help me stay more interested, but will also help my kids feel better about “missing out” on Bosco Stick day.

That’s why I love today’s sponsor, MOMables. It’s a subscription-based meal-planning service – created by Laura, a busy mom (and Happiest Mom reader!) – that does the lunchbox planning for you. Each week subscribers get a menu with photos of each lunch plus a shopping list you can print out and take to the grocery store and helpful tips for preparing, storing, and packing the meals. MOMables makes packing a fun, wholesome lunch easy: the lunches can be made in 10 minutes or less, feature fresh, everyday ingredients (that you likely have in your fridge or pantry anyway) and require no fancy skills or tools. The recipes are simple, the food is picky-kid-tested – and to me, the best part is that the ideas, recipes, menu and shopping list all come in one easy download.

Here’s an example of a kid-friendly lunch from a recent MOMables menu (my kids loved this one!)

Strawberry Shortcake Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB cream cheese
  • 2-3 Strawberries, sliced
  • 1 Whole-wheat morning muffin Directions:
    1. Spread cream cheese onto both sides of toasted breakfast muffin.
    2. Slice strawberries and place on top of cream cheese.
    3. Serve with fresh fruit and yogurt.
  • MOM Tip:
    Never thought about sending yogurt to school because you are afraid of it getting warm? Consider placing yogurt cup in freezer while you make lunches and get kids ready. The extra cold temperature should hold up its cool through lunch. You can also put yogurt in a cold thermos.

Now here’s the cool part: Laura is going to give TWO readers a free three-month subscription to MOMables ($18 value.) To enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post. I’d love to hear about your biggest lunch-planning challenge!

2) Visit the MOMables Facebook page, then come back and leave another comment letting me know you did

3) Tweet or Facebook about this contest, then come back and leave another comment letting me know you did.

The contest will run until 10:00 AM EST on Saturday, October 1 and I’ll share the winners in next week’s Lunch Box Challenge post. Winners will be chosen randomly.

Check back next week for our last Lunch Box Challenge post. I’m planning to re-organize my pantry (I did it last fall, but it’s fallen apart) and will be writing about creating a dedicated space for lunchbox supplies, containers, and tools. But I have to admit, I’m kind of sad that this is coming to an end…I’ve really had a good time, and the Challenge has made me much more dedicated to getting those lunches packed every day. Thank you all for coming along for the ride!

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